Not the job of hosting of the event, which they apparently aren’t exactly succeeding at right now, though it seems that every host nation of a major sporting event falls behind schedule on stadium and infrastructure projects. But given that over the weekend FIFA held the draw for the Confederations Cup, the World Cup's dress rehearsal, Brazil's host-nation status is as safe as kittens.
No, Brazil lost the World Cup competition. (An impressive feat, considering no games have been played.) They’ve already lost, because they’ve hired Phil Scolari to manage the Seleção, the national football team. Actually, they’ve rehired him.
Perhaps the least surprising surprise at the heart of the traditional “handover” segment of the 2012 London Olympics Closing Ceremony — its big reveal — was the presence of the ubiquitous, loved-worldwide or just merely tolerated figure of Brazilian soccer legend Pelé, there to “embrace” the world and welcome the Games to Rio in 2016. At first incognito underneath a rakishly cocked black hat and jacket that were no sartorial match for the brilliant white duds that singer Seu Jorge absolutely smashed out of the Olympic Park, Pelé soon shed both, displaying the familiar yellow-and-green shirt of the Brazilian national team emblazoned with his name and his iconic no. 10. It was, for many, an exciting way to whet the appetite for the surely fantastic spectacle to come four years hence in a Cidade Maravilhosa, but the sight of the Seleção’s jersey on its nation’s most famous footballer was also a reminder of the not-at-all-small affair only two years away, which we all know as World Cup 2014.